Scientific Symposium 'Vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to global change and extreme events - At the crossroads of knowledge to the benefit of coastal and marine ecosystem services'
18 - 21 october 2011, Biarritz, France
According to the Millemium Ecosystem Assessment, 60% of coastal ecosystems in the World are degraded.
However, those are areas of high biodiversity and productive capacity. Coastal areas generate 75% of the Ocean production whilst they cover only 5% of its surface. Most of these ecosystems sustain a large number of economic activities and render many ecosystem services.
As unstable areas, they suffer a great number of pressures from different land-based activities ; high population density; user conflicts for space and resources utilization.
Moreover, they are exposed to extreme events such as tsunamis, floods or hurricanes and to climate changes.
Finding solutions for the protection of these vulnerable areas become a priority. Pressures threaten up ecosystems production of goods and services and, in fine, human well being. Coastal ecosystems vulnerability to global change (climate change, demography…) generated attention to coastal risks strongly related with the “Precaution Principle” as stipulated in the 1992 Rio Declaration.
The Symposium joins together different scientific fields in order to get a better understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes involved in the modification of the structure and functionality of coastal ecosystems. It will cover the watershed hydrology and water run-off including estuaries as well as ocean and coastal waters changes. This will require a pluridisciplinary approach, combining scientific but also traditional and local ecological knowledge in regard to the interconnected dynamics in between physico-chemical, biological and socio-economic factors within the “sustainable development” framework, at the crossroad of social, environmental and economic aspects.
Four sessions will be held with the following topics :
- Understanding ecosystem functioning and processes
- System response assessment
- Strategies and management tools
- Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management
The Scientific Conference will be associated with the first edition of a technical exhibition « Oceanovation » organized by Biarritz Ocean and MLGEvents on the Ocean observation, protection, and restoration, including uses and users’ communities.
Some other events (conferences, exhibitions) will be opened to the general public with a special reference to 2011, the year of the High-Seas.